Using a Google Sheets CRM template: the pros and cons
If you want to close more deals, you need to be on top of your prospects and customers. That means more than saving super long email threads or organizing your sticky notes and business cards in a filing cabinet.
It’s time to go digital.
Maybe you’ve already started working with a Google Sheets CRM template, like the one we just released last week: SalesTable.
(Prefer Excel over Google Sheets? Then grab our free Excel CRM template.)
If so, you’re probably already starting to see some benefits. But while it’s true that a Google Sheets CRM template can be advantageous for small businesses or entrepreneurs, there are also some serious downsides that you’ll need to consider.
Let’s see the pros and cons of using a Google Sheets CRM template, and then we’ll discuss a better way to keep track of your prospects and customers.
Here are 5 benefits of using a Google Sheets CRM template
One of the most obvious benefits of using a Google Sheets CRM template is that it’s 100% free!
Almost all modern companies are currently using either Google or Office, and both of these include a spreadsheet software where you can build your own CRM spreadsheet, or use a template to build one.
All the data you need in one easy view
Especially when your business has only a few main customers or prospects, using a Google Sheets CRM template gives you a quick overview of important contact details for each of your prospects.
In our CRM spreadsheet template, you also get a handy sales dashboard, letting you know at a glance what’s currently in your pipeline and what deals are soon to be closed.
Removes the distractions of a full-fledged CRM
If you’re looking for a no-fuss solution to customer relationship management, a Google Sheets CRM template like SalesTable is the perfect solution.
Since spreadsheets are inherently simple, this kind of CRM solution saves you from the distractions of other sales features, reports, analytics, and other activity that a real CRM gives you.
In one way, this does help you focus more on the data at hand. However, it means you’ll be on your own when it comes to interpreting that data.
Complete customization ability within your Google Sheets CRM template
With any Google Sheets CRM template, you can customize and adapt it to your exact needs.
This means you can change the opportunity stages, insert or delete columns to leave space for the information that really matters to you, or even play around with the colors.
Minimal training necessary
Pretty much anyone born after 1970 has seen a spreadsheet, and the great majority of these people use spreadsheets on a weekly (if not daily) basis for any number of tasks.
So, using a Google Sheets CRM template means you won’t need to spend hours training your team on how to use it: in a matter of minutes, everyone will be set up and on the same page.
At this point, a Google Sheets CRM template is looking like a pretty great option. However, there are disadvantages that you’ll need to consider before deciding where to place your customer data.
The disadvantages of Google Sheets CRM template
No connection to other sales tools
Since we are talking about something built in Google Sheets, you have to admit that it’s pretty simple. While this can be an advantage for some teams or individuals, down the road it will almost certainly be a disadvantage.
Since you can't make calls or send emails through Google Sheets, you’ll need to go back to the sheet and grab the right contact information before any interaction with your prospects. And afterwards, you’ll need to record that data manually.
Also, using a Google Sheets CRM template makes it easier to forget important meetings, phone calls, or even leads, since you can’t connect it to your calendar or set tasks with reminders.
While you can make some basic connections to other tools using Zapier, it’s certainly not intuitive or adaptable to your needs.
Manual data entry necessary for each new contact
Every time your business gets a new lead, all the information must be entered manually. Every piece of data that you want to save, including names, emails, websites, addresses, phone numbers, and more must be entered one-by-one. (My hands are cramping up just thinking about it!)
This is a huge time-waster for any salesperson, and ultimately minimizes the time you have to actually sell your product. Right now, 71% of sales reps say they spend too much time doing basic data entry: don’t be one of those people!
As your sales team grows, making sure that every rep is productive will become exponentially more important. Not only that, manual data entry leaves a huge amount of room for human error. In fact, one study found that 88% of spreadsheets have errors (yikes).
Limited space to keep notes
In our CRM spreadsheet template, you have space to add notes about each of your prospects.
But as time goes on and you start to build long-term relationships with these people, it will become harder and harder to save notes in an organized and helpful way. In the end, important notes will get lost (or simply never get recorded).
No place to attach important documents
When you’re setting up presentations, getting contracts signed, or creating other important documentation, where do you store it? In a Google Sheets CRM template, there’s no way to directly connect important documents to a certain prospect or customer.
The best you can do is paste a link to Dropbox or Google Drive, and hope it doesn’t get lost. (Not the best way to keep track of important documents.)
Very easy to share, which means less security for your customer data
Google Sheets has easy sharing options, which means it’s great for collaborating with your team. However, those easy sharing options can come back to bite you later on: it can be a bit too easy to share your document with the wrong person. Also, once you give editing access to others, they can also invite people, and it can be hard to keep track of who has access.
Over time, it's almost inevitable that someone accidentally edits the contents of a cell. Eventually, your neatly organized and well-structured spreadsheet turns into a clusterfuck. Yes, Google Sheets has a wonderful version history feature, but if you're talking about a CRM where 5+ people are involved that each make dozens of edits a day—good luck untangling this by the time you figure out that there's an incorrect entry.
These are all serious problems that you’ll need to think about when considering a Google Sheets CRM template. But don’t panic: there’s a better option available.
By investing in a real CRM, sales teams can increase ROI up to 245%. Let’s talk about how a real CRM fixes the problems outlined above.
How a real CRM solves the problems that a Google Sheets CRM template can’t
Connects to many other sales tools
Any CRM worth its salt is much more than just a place to dump information: it is the hub of activity where your sales team is enabled to give their best.
Besides that, it integrates with hundreds of other sales and marketing tools to make your job easier than ever.
Provides automation options
While a Google Sheets CRM template has you manually inputting large amounts of data, a real CRM does all the heavy lifting for you. For example, all emails and calls are automatically logged into the CRM without any extra effort on your part.
Not only that: Close allows you to create automated email sequences, and even automates the process of calling prospects with its Predictive Dialer.
Infinite space to keep notes (plus, the option to search)
You can be as anal as you want about taking notes: a real CRM has the space to hold all the information you need to keep. But it gets better: you can search directly in the CRM to find the information you need in an instant.
Keeps all your customer data secure
A small business CRM gives you complete control over who has access to your customer data. You can also adjust the permissions of certain users, or even customize what kind of permissions your users have.
Is a Google Sheets CRM template the right choice for you?
If you’re a business that’s planning on expanding quickly and growing their sales team, then you’re going to need a more robust solution.
While a Google Sheets CRM template has its advantages (like the fact that it’s FREE), the cons outweigh the pros here.
If you want to keep crushing your sales goals, you need to keep your prospect and customer data clear, up-to-date, and easily accessible.
To do that, you’ll need a seriously powerful CRM, like Close.
Start your free 14-day trial today and let our CRM rock your world, or start using Google Sheets as a CRM with our free template.